Pat O'Neill's monthly mailings to prospective new accounts were getting a little stale. Her solution: CD-ROM business cards.

First she filmed a three-minute commercial for O'Neill Benefits Group Brokerage, her four-employee benefits intermediary business in Boulder, Colo., and sent it to Microbizcard Inc., of Toronto, which burned it onto CDs the size of business cards. O'Neill paid about $2 per disc, though Microbizcard has since dropped its prices to $1.50 per unit with a purchase of 500 discs.

Microbizcard offers the discs in the customer's choice of 12 standard shapes, such as squares and ovals, or cuts them into custom designs, such as a pair of boxing gloves or a can of soda.

CD-ROM business cards have been around for about three years. What's new, says Microbizcard vice president Dionne Skinner, is that the cards can now hold all kinds of multimedia goodies and even have e-commerce capability.

The downside: Some computers won't play the business cards without an adapter. Still, O'Neill remains eager to mail out her multimedia missives along with the regular, paper business cards. "One day CD-ROM business cards will be all over the place, and once people have a pile of them, they won't stick them into their machines," she says. "But right now, even if they pop them in for a minute, I look good."

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